Alysha Baier and Kala Stein open studio in Honeoye
05:00 AM, Dec 08, 2013
Squat jars with wavy edges sit next to tall, slender vases in the gallery space of Honeoye’s new ceramics studio. This yin and yang of pottery styles is the work of two artists who hope to highlight the area’s creativity.
“We are the growing art community; we’re moving our studios out of our homes,” says Alysha Baier of Baier Pottery (baierpottery.com), who shares the workspace with Kala Stein that the two will open to the public on weekends up to Christmas.
Artists in galleries and workspaces across the area have special hours this month in honor of the season. The open houses, especially the First Friday gallery hops in Rochester, are attracting more spectators and buyers.
Stein, who runs Kala Stein Design (kalastein.com), believes that even more artists will be opening shared or solo studios in the coming years.
Stein and Baier plan a reception to mark the studio’s opening, from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Briarcliff Square, 8732 Main St. The studio also will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Dec. 21 and 22. In the new year, the artists plan to hold other special events and will open by appointment.
Stein, who makes vases, is also known for her decorative tiles featuring outlines of the Finger Lakes in blue on a green background. On permanent display in the public library down the street is a large version, six feet by four feet.
“It’s exciting for a small town to have a public presence of art,” Stein says.
The new studio is the latest example of the emerging Finger Lakes art community, says Audrey Carrier, president of the Honeoye Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. In October the Honeoye Craft Lab opened nearby on Main Street.
“We’ve had a lot of artisans, and they were in the hills hidden away,” says Carrier. “Now they are getting exposure, which is good for the community and for tourism.”
Both artists grew up in the area. Baier studied ceramics in North Carolina before returning to Conesus and co-founding the Western New York Pottery Festival, held in June in the town of Avon. Stein, who lives in Canadice, earned an master’s in ceramic art from Alfred University and directs the school’s Cohen Gallery. Both sell pottery locally and in galleries along the East Coast.
Stein’s section of the studio is filled with her minimalist designs, smooth, sleek pottery primarily in white, gray or muted tones. She is particularly known for what she calls her silhouette vases flat, geometrically shaped vases connected in groups.
In contrast to the stillness of Stein’s work, Baier’s pottery moves with its undulating edges and irregular, bulbous shapes. The cups, bowls and jars are a mix of green, blue and brown and decorated with swirls and dots.
Stein and Baier say they hope that more local artists will set up shop to showcase the area as a thriving arts community and to encourage patronage of the arts.
“It’s hard to compete with the stuff in Target,” Stein says. “Hopefully with the sustainable movement there’s more interest in handmade pottery.”